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December 15, 2020

Fallout From the Micron Power Outage Seems Manageable for Most

The plant that lost power was mainly responsible for 8Gb chips, which pair mostly with SkyLake Xeon processors. The majority of customers have moved on to Cascade Lake and Refresh, so they will not feel the effects. However, there are still some customers who run a substantial amount of SkyLake systems and will feel the pressure. Regardless, there has been an uptick in pricing across the board as the memory market has been looking for a reason to rebound. The increases will most likely be short-lived.

LCD Panels Are in a Historic Shortage

Demand for laptops and Chromebooks continues to escalate. We have referenced that many board level components are in supply constraint due to the increased demand stemming from the pandemic. One of the main concerns currently is LCD panels. They are the biggest gating item when customers are planning their builds. There are no firm lead times, and pricing in the open market has increased 3x since January 2020. Expectations are that the demand will continue into 2021. Many manufacturers have shifted production from TV panels to IT panels in order to catch up with demand.

Realtek Planning on Price Increases

In January 2021, Realtek is going to be announcing price increases. They are citing multiple location shutdowns and the wafer supply issue as the reasoning. Lead times are continuing to increase, and this price hike will not help alleviate the shortages. The two major families that are affected are the RTL series for networking/5G and the ALC series for audio devices.

Automotive Market Rebound Causing Multiple Problems for Capacitor Supply

Automotive factories are increasing car production as factories get back to full capacity. The increased demand is causing heavy constraints in the market for Automotive-grade MLCCs as well as Hi-Q, High RF Power and surface mount MLC capacitors. The market shortage will stretch, at minimum, through Q3 2021. The brands affected most are Kemet, AVX & Murata.

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